Hospital Dr News

NHS consultants to receive just 1.5% in pay rise, Treasury announces

Unions are disappointed at the Government’s much-hyped pay rise for public sector workers calling it “inadequate”.

The Treasury has announced that, from October, consultants will get 1.5% pay rise with an additional 0.5% targeted at performance-related pay.

There will be a minimum pay rise of £1,150 for consultants.

Junior doctors and GPs will receive a 2% pay uplift.

There will be a 3% pay rise for specialty (SAS) doctors, which will be backdated to April 2018.

Furthermore, there will an additional 1% potentially available to GPs from April 2019, subject to contract reform.

This follows the 6.5% pay rise over three years that was announced in March for more than a million nurses, midwives and other Agenda for Change staff, in return for modernisation of terms and conditions.

The Government abandoned its 1% pay cap last year, after years of wage depreciation.

Dr Anthea Mowat, said: “It is truly astonishing that the UK Government has chosen to ignore the already insufficient recommendations of its own independent pay review body and to then compound the misery that this will cause for thousands of our hard-working members and their families by refusing to backdate what will be an inadequate pay uplift.

“Just last week the new Secretary of State for Health and Social Care talked about how ‘heart-breaking’ it was to see how ‘under-valued’ NHS staff feel. Considering those words, doctors in England will rightly feel both anger and disappointment that sentiment has not been matched with action.

“While the long overdue recognition of SAS doctors is positive, it is unacceptable that the policy of inflicting a real-terms pay cut on the majority of doctors will continue. Since 2008, doctors have experienced the largest drop in earnings of all professions subject to pay review bodies, with consultants seeing a 19% fall in pay, junior doctors 21% and GPs 20%. The effective pay uplift this year for some doctors will be as little as 0.75%, which will be widely seen as derisory.”

There will be no additional funding for the pay rises, with the increases being funded from departmental budgets.

The Pay Review Body for doctors recommended a 2% pay rise.

Danny Mortimer, chief executive of NHS Employers, said: “Employers welcome the steady progress towards ending the cap on earnings for NHS staff. We now need assurances around how such awards can be fully funded.”

Teachers and soldiers received the best pay rises, with many receiving 3.5% and 2.9% respectively.

Mowat added: “At a time when the NHS faces severe shortages of doctors across all specialties, it beggars belief that the ministers have failed to recognise the contribution declining pay has had on the ability to recruit and retain doctors and the significant damage to morale.

“Today’s announcement, coming at a time when understaffed and under-resourced hospitals and primary care services are having to manage unprecedented levels of patient demand, will only make a bad situation much worse and the BMA will be considering its next steps in response.”

The rate of inflation is currently above 2%.

Read more on the public sector pay rise.

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